Dr Afari-Gyan is due for retirement in two months – June 2015 – after several years at the helm of the EC, organising not less than five national elections as well as a number of district level elections.
DAILY GUIDE can authoritatively reveal that five names have been shortlisted for the position of EC Chairman.
They are Justice Senyo Dzamefe and Justice Alhaji Saeed Kwaku Gyan, justices of the Court of Appeal, Mrs Georgina Opoku Amakwaah and her colleague Amadu Sulley, both Deputy Commissioners of the EC and Charlotte Kesson-Smith Osei, Chairperson of the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE).
The Executive Director of the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), Dr Emmanuel Akwetey appears to have been dropped from the race, according to sources. Dr Akwetey sometime ago denied any interest in the position when DAILY GUIDE first broke the story last year.
An advisory committee is said to have been set up to advise President John Mahama on who to appoint as the next EC boss.
The committee, which has former Deputy Commissioner of the EC and currently a member of the Council of State, David Kanga as a member, appears to favour Mrs Osei, who replaced the late Larry Bimi at the NCCE.
According to sources, even though Mr Kanga favours Sulley Amadu as a possible successor to Afari-Gyan, the majority is in support of the NCCE boss.
Even though her name is speculated to be high on the cards, some have raised issues about the NCCE boss’ ability to manage a sensitive position such as head of the EC in view of her handling of issues at the NCCE.
Mrs Osei is thought to have been propped up into the limelight by the late President Mills when he first made her a member of the Board of Directors of the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB).
Until the search for who replaces Afari-Gyan began in earnest, DAILY GUIDE learnt that she was being prepared to be appointed a Supreme Court judge following the retirement of Justice Rose Owusu.
Issues have also been raised about Dr Emmanuel Akwetey’s neutrality, having once worked as an aide to the late President Mills when he was Vice President and therefore considered to be somewhat politically tainted even though he has not made his political colours or preference known openly.
Amadu Sulley, who has been working for EC for several years, also seems to come with a baggage of doubt hanging around his neck, with many seeing him as lacking the credibility to head the EC as a substantive boss.
That has partly been because he is seen more as an NDC supporter.
He was the man who took the leadership of the NDC to a secret location at Shai Hills ahead of the introduction of the biometric registration exercise to show them how the system operates.
He is also the one who superintended the recent botched District Assemblies elections which cost the nation a whopping GH¢320 million.
This was after he defied instructions from his immediate boss, Dr Afari-Gyan, to extend the date for the filing of nominations, resulting in a legal action that led to the cancellation of the elections by the Supreme Court.
Sulley is however said to be enjoying some support from former Deputy Commissioner of the EC, David Kanga, who happens to be the President’s man.
In the case of Justice Senyo Dzamefe, very little seems to have been heard about him except for the infamous Brazil 2014 Report which his committee recently submitted after so much noise.
Not even a single prosecution has come out of the seeping corruption that was perpetrated by government officials who were neck-deep in the scandal.
In the case of Justice Kwaku Gyan, he was a High Court judge who was not too long ago promoted to the Court of Appeal.
He is the judge handling the Tier 2 workers pension case where the government had dragged public sector workers union to court over their unpaid Tier 2 Pension to fund managers.